Alibi V.14 No.12 • March 24-30, 2005 

Culture Shock

The stubborn asses over at the Donkey Gallery (1415 Fourth SW) don't think poetry should be confined to the official poetry month of April. So, just to be contrary, they're hosting a poetry reading this month on Thursday, March 24, at 7 p.m. featuring readings by Erin Radcliffe, Tomás Radcliffe, Matthew Rana, J. Salerno, Nicky Schildkraut and Melissa Weinstein. The event is also designed to celebrate the first all-poetry edition of the Donkey Journal, the gallery's hip monthly arts journal. Refreshments will be provided. These six poets will present a wide range of poetic ideas and voices throughout the evening. According to the Donkey Gallery: "There's something for everyone, unless one wants bongos. There will not be bongos." For details, call 242-7504.

After years of blood, sweat and toil, you've finally finished writing your book. You're a New Mexico writer. Your book is set in New Mexico. Your book is about New Mexico. So, of course, you shop it around to regional publishers, and you finally find one who has the enthusiasm and vision to recognize your baby for the work of literary quality it is.

Your book gets published. You're happy. Your publisher is happy. Your family and friends pass along their heartfelt congratulations. You're on top of the world.

Then you realize that no one is reading it, and the reason no one is reading it is because no one is reviewing it. All right, you didn't exactly expect a cover spot on the New York Times Book Review. You didn't expect interviews on NPR or "Late Night with David Letterman." You did, however, expect the local media to stand up and notice. I mean, for Pete's sake, you worked hard on this thing.

As a new writer, breaking into the local media isn't always an easy task. Thankfully the New Mexico Book Coop and the New Mexico Book Association are sponsoring a discussion led by Candelora Versace and Barbara Riley of Southwest Bookviews along with Carol Kay of New Mexico Magazine. The purpose of this discussion is to explore ways for authors to get their books reviewed by local media. It'll take place on Thursday, March 24, at 6 p.m. at the Great Wall Chinese Buffet (3301 Coors NW). The meeting is free, but the buffet will cost you $7.99. If you'd like to attend, e-mail info@nmbookcoop.com or call 344-9382.